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Singles Corner

 

Singles Corner

Tebogo Maimane

Singles Corner

Copyright 2016 by Tebogo Maimane

ISBN #: 978-1-365-39192-7

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing to the copyright.

Contents

Foreword

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p<>{color:#000;}. Sufficient Grace…………………………………………………… 5

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p<>{color:#000;}. Singleness is not a Curse………………………………………. 11

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p<>{color:#000;}. Societal Pressure………………………………………………….. 16

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p<>{color:#000;}. Age Is Only A Number…………………………………………. 21

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p<>{color:#000;}. Being Single Does Not Mean Loneliness………………… 26

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p<>{color:#000;}. Healthy Self Esteem……………………………………………… 34

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p<>{color:#000;}. Renounce Comparison………………………………………….. 39

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p<>{color:#000;}. Waiting on God for a Spouse…………………………………. 44

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p<>{color:#000;}. Abstinence…………………………………………………………….. 53

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p<>{color:#000;}. Role of Single Person in the Church……………….. 61

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p<>{color:#000;}. Singleness and Leadership……………………………… 66

Acknowledgements

References

Foreword

As I write this book I am at a stage where I am approaching my fortieth birthday and have never been married. I write from a point of view of what I have experienced in my walk of faith, as well as my observation and conversations with other single people. Some are single by choice whereas some are single due to circumstances. As such my classification of a single person is any person who has never been married, or a divorced person, or a person who has lost a spouse and never remarried. I acknowledge that even this category is diverse, for example some have never been married but have children whereas some don’t have children, the same with divorcees and the widowed. I therefore sincerely implore that the content be read with this understanding.

I am of the opinion that one of the things that makes being single a challenge is lack of closure. For instance if you grew up without a father being present in your life you are able to get to a point of closure because you come to the realisation that you can’t undo the past or turn the clock backwards. Or in cases where you have lost a loved one you are able to heal and have a sense of closure. Whereas with being single (for those who desire to get married) the best you can do is hope and believe that God will grant you the desire of your heart, it is a continuous journey.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Sufficient Grace

In this journey of exploring life as a single person, let us do so by firstly broaching the subject of grace. It is of importance to take cognisance that as believers we live every aspect of our lives through the grace of God, as it is written in Acts 17:28

For in Him we live and move and have our being”.

Jesus Christ also emphasised this principle in John 15:5 when He said

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing”.

There is a special grace that indwells every believer because God has designed it to be like that. John 1:16 says

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace”

And this grace that God gives to us is not ‘some grace’ but ‘all grace’. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says

God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work”

What is God’s grace?

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p<>{color:#000;}. Unmerited favour, divine favour bestowed on undeserving people

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p<>{color:#000;}. Divine power to help us

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p<>{color:#000;}. God’s love in action towards people

Benefits of grace

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p<>{color:#000;}. It upholds our salvation

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p<>{color:#000;}. Gives us victory in temptation

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p<>{color:#000;}. Helps us endure pain and suffering

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p<>{color:#000;}. Enables us to serve the Lord efficiently

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p<>{color:#000;}. Helps us to understand and apply the Word

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p<>{color:#000;}. It makes us to be partakers in all the treasures of God’s kingdom

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p<>{color:#000;}. It makes us co-heirs with Jesus Christ

There are various types of grace,

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p<>{color:#000;}. Common grace – this is available to everyone, believers and non believers. Matthew 5:45 says

He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good”.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Saving grace – when we get born again it is purely by grace, and not of anything we have done or not done. Ephesians 2:8-9 says

For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Sanctifying grace – when we get born again the Holy Spirit works in us to purify us that we become holy like our Creator. As we read the Word we get purified because sanctification is continuous. John 17:17 says

Sanctify them by Your truth, Your Word is truth”.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Grace for provision – James 1:17 says

Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father”.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Serving grace – when we get born again we each receive a spiritual gift, and this spiritual gift we are to use to serve our fellow believers. 1 Peter 4:10 says

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God”.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Sustaining grace – this is the type of grace that helps us when we go through tough times, troubles and trials. Hebrews 4:16 says

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.

All these are necessary for us as believers, however in the context of the subject of singlehood I will be focusing on sustaining grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9

My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness”.

Paul talks about a thorn in the flesh that he was experiencing and prayed that God would take it away, however after his third request he decided to let it go and embrace the answer that God gave to him. This experience of Paul teaches us that when we pray, the answer we receive may not be what we expected to hear.

There are things in life that we cannot pray away, rather we have to lean on God as our pillar of strength knowing that His grace is sufficient to take us through whatever the thorn may be. One thing we know is that a thorn is painful and uncomfortable.

I count being single (to a person who desires to get married) as a type of a thorn in the flesh. One could pray, fast and give a special offering requesting God to take away the thorn of singleness, yet His answer will not be a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but rather ‘my grace is sufficient for you’.

When the answer of God to our request is ‘my grace is sufficient for you’ we have to be at peace, take courage and be strengthened knowing that His way is what is best for us. Daniel 10:19

“He said to me ‘o man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you, take courage and be courageous’. Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, ‘may my lord speak, for you have strengthened me’”.

Whatever God chooses for us, He also equips us with sufficient grace to sustain us.

Our part is to trust in His decision for us,

Proverbs 3:5 says

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding”,

And to be fully dependent on Him to carry us through, 1 Corinthians 2:5 says

So that your faith may not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power”.

Some of the things that makes being single to be a thorn in the flesh is societal pressure, feelings of inadequacy, being stigmatised and the concept of generational curse. These would be addressed in the following chapters.

The Bible doesn’t specify what this thorn in the flesh Paul had suffered was, nor does it give an indication whether he eventually got cured from it, or whether it is something that he had to live with the rest of his life.

As you run the race of faith as a single person, you don’t know whether this singleness is temporary or a lifetime thing however let the joy of the Lord be your strength and know that His grace is sufficient for whatever He has planned for your life.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Singleness is not a curse

The way a person is socialised determines the glasses through which they view life. By socialisation I mean the behaviour of a person that is adopted as a result of being surrounded by a certain culture, a process of inheriting ideologies. As a result of socialisation there are people in the church, both single and married, who regard unmarried people as being cursed. In their view they regard not finding a spouse to be linked to some unconfessed sin or generational curse.

In Galatians 3:13 it says

Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures ‘cursed is everyone who is hung on the tree”.

As believers we are no longer under any curse, Jesus has taken upon Himself the curse for our wrongdoing, we have been set free. John 8:26 says

“Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed”.

No person should think they are cursed just because they are not married. Yes I don’t dispute the fact that there have been cases where it was discovered that generational curses and witchcraft were the root cause that hindered people from being married.

However it should not be automatically assumed that a person is single because of being under a generational curse, sin or witchcraft.

Instead of assuming that a person is single because of generational curses and sin, we need to take into consideration firstly the sovereign plan of God and secondly the right for an individual to choose. Each person is designed differently. Some people will marry young like Mary the mother of Jesus Christ, some will marry at an advanced age like Isaac, and yet some will choose to remain single like Apostle Paul.

No single person should be subjected to a silent cry as a result of condemnation, every single person should be emancipated from such a mindset. Romans 8:1 says

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”.

Is marriage the ultimate goal here on earth?

I love the idea of marriage, I am of the opinion that this is an institution uniquely set up by God for us human beings.

In Genesis 2:18 it says

it is not good that man should be alone, I will make him a helper comparable to him”.

This is one of the favourite verses used during wedding ceremonies. I fully concur with this verse being used to apply to husband and wife. However I have come to an understanding that it’s not only limited to husband and wife. I say this because my initial understanding of this verse was that it means everyone should get married. As such when I advanced in age and still was not married I started feeling as though there was something wrong with me. This was perpetuated by my wrong understanding of this Scripture verse, as well as how other believers would treat me just because I was a single person. But because God is a loving Father, He does not leave us in circumstances that are tormenting, by His grace I have come to a deeper understanding.

One of the articles I read published on Today Christian Woman gave me another angle to interpret this verse in Genesis 2:18. The author states that it was not good for Adam to be alone because he didn’t have any companion completely, but with us it is different because we have existing communities.

These communities in which we belong are in various forms such as family, friends, church and such. The main focus of God was to make sure that Adam had a helper. Yes I agree with the concept that a wife is the suitable helper to which the bible makes reference to. However I believe this helper is not only confined to the wife. There is also what is called destiny helpers. One can get help from a mentor, a family member, and a friend. These destiny helpers are to assist with various things as an individual pursue their vision and life’s purpose. The concept of destiny helpers is evident in Scriptures. To name a few, Jesus had the disciples, Moses had Aaron, and David had Jonathan.

So let the ultimate goal of us believers be to fulfil the purpose of God for our lives, and if His purpose includes marriage let it be so and if it doesn’t include marriage still let it be so.

All that we should desire is to hear Him tell us well done good and faithful servant.

Is Being Single Modern Leprosy?

In the olden days a person who suffered from leprosy was treated as an outcast, such a person was regarded to be unclean. As mentioned previously, there’s a misconception by some believers that a person who is unmarried is in that status because they have some form of sin which results in them not being blessed with a spouse. This leads to a form of stigmatisation even though it is not overtly done. Unfortunately this is the ideology of those in the church who are misinformed.

Being married doesn’t mean godliness, so too being single doesn’t mean ungodliness. Not all marriages are godly, and not all singles are godly, and not all marriages are ungodly nor all singles are ungodly. Therefore singles should not be treated as outcasts in the church. The unfortunate part is that this mistreatment of single people has a risk of driving them away from the church.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Societal Pressure

One of the challenges which single people are subjected to is societal pressure. I can’t comprehend as to why there is a tendency to stigmatise single people in society, workplace as well as in church. In society it is as if there are people who make it their mission to target single people with belittling comments for not being married and having children. Also our relatives are another channel that puts pressure on single people. In family gatherings you find those who are always asking about your relationship status and others trying to play matchmakers. What I find amazing is that you never find people asking those who are married about their relationship status, it is assumed that they are happy and content. So who gave permission for people to interrogate single people about their relationship or lack thereof?

Before anyone assumes that I’m writing this because I’m frustrated let me set the record straight. I am writing this because I have been subjected to such treatment, and want to share lessons learnt.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Accept that you are single, whether it is by choice or by circumstance.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Live in the now. There are characteristics that God is cleaning up in you, so allow Him the space to do so.

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p<>{color:#000;}. If you desire to be married ask yourself why you want to get married. What makes you a suitable partner? What is it you are bringing into the marriage? Most people think marriage is about getting whereas it is about giving. Don’t confuse wedding day to mean marriage, wedding is only a once off celebration whereas marriage is a long term thing. Do you desire a wedding day or do you desire to be in a God ordained marriage?

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p<>{color:#000;}. What may seem like a delay according to human standards is not so. God has a perfect timing, never early and never late. It takes patience, perseverance and faith. Have a verse to encourage yourself with.

Here are few of my favourites:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Proverbs 3:5-6 “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path”

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p<>{color:#000;}. Ecclesiastes 3:1 “there is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven”.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time”.

It is unfortunate that in the church also there’s a form of societal pressure in a form of stigmatising the single. Single people are sometime made to feel like they are second class citizens. There are two main challenges of single people in the church which I have identified.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Pulpit illustrations

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p<>{color:#000;}. Some pulpit illustrations are done in a way that leaves single people feeling like it is our fault for being single. I remember I once attended a conference, the preacher literally said it is our fault that we are single because God sent us a partner and we rejected that person because they didn’t meet our standards. By the time I left there I didn’t remember any part of the sermon except this part, I felt so condemned. But because God is gracious I found comfort in His Word. Romans 8:1 “there is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”, and Psalm 37:4 “delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart”.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Segregation in fellowship

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p<>{color:#000;}. I have been in Christian seminars where single people and married people are separated during Q&A sessions. My view is that some single people will get married eventually so whatever is discussed with regards to marriage related challenges will be beneficial to them also. In secular events the singles and married are not separated so this gives people exposure to worldly ideologies and by the time they get into marriages they apply wrong principles because they had limited exposure to the godly way of addressing marital challenges.

Even though these things happen it doesn’t give us the reason to quit the church. Remember we are on a construction site, Jesus is building His church. We need to be patient with one another in love. 1 Peter 4:8 says

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins”.

Therefore as a single person determine in your heart that you refuse to fall prey to societal pressure because the consequences are dire. Unfortunately those who do not fight off this monster called societal pressure end up taking matters into their own hands other than wait on God. This is one of the reasons we see some falling pregnant out of wedlock, others falling into a worldly standard of cohabitation and others settling for wrong marriage partners.

The best solution is to wait upon God, yes it is easily said than done but it is possible, the grace of God is sufficient to enable us to wait.

I read a phrase that says

“It is better to wait long than to marry wrong – anonymous”.

God wouldn’t expect us to wait on Him if it was an impossible task, remember

Mark 9:23 “everything is possible to the person who has faith”.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Age Is Only A Number

As we continue on our journey of faith, it is important to take a step back and ask ourselves whether we truly know this God we proclaim to love. This is the God who spoke a Word and the universe was created, John 1:1 says

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made”.

This God is the unchanging God, Malachi 3:6 says

For I am the Lord, I do not change”.

This God does not have favourites He treats us the same, that is, in accordance to His principles. Romans 2:11 says

“For there is no partiality with God”.

So, can this God fail to speak a Word that has power to transform our lives? So can this God fail to make a way where there isn’t one? Can this God fail to fulfil what He has promised? I ask all of these questions because I find it remarkable that most people who decide to disobey God, pertaining to the issues related to getting married and having children, give “age” as a reason behind their decision.

Let us not fall prey to the standard of the world, Romans 12:2 says

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”.

Furthermore let us not fall prey to the trap of comparing ourselves with others, Hebrews 13:5a says

“Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have”.

Conforming to the standard of this world and comparing ourselves with others only brings unhealthy pressure which leads to wrong decision making. Yes those around us, our peers and relatives, may be getting married and having children, it seems their lives are going ahead but yours is stuck.

But in the midst of all that, just remember that you are not forgotten, in Hebrews 13:5b God has promised not to leave us nor forsake us. It is imperative to choose to allow His plan for our lives to take its cause, and be content that it is what is best for us. Our God is a good God, in Jeremiah 29:11 He says

For I know the plans I have for you’ says the Lord ‘they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”.

When Abraham, father of our faith, had Isaac the son God promised, he was 100 years old and his wife Sarah was 90 years old. In Genesis 17:17 says

Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’”

Genesis 21:5 says

Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Zacharias and Elizabeth their ages are not specified but they were both advanced in age when their son John the Baptist was born. Luke 1:7&57 says

They had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years”.

Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son”.

Furthermore son of the promise Isaac was forty years when he got married and sixty years when he got blessed with children. Genesis 25:20&26 says

“Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah as wife”.

“Isaac was sixty years when she bore them”.

There is also the Shunammite woman, she was hospitable, generous and rich but had no child. 2 Kings 4:14&17 says

So he said, ‘what then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, ‘actually, she has no son, and her husband is old’”.

But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come”

I am drawing our attention to the testimony of Abraham and Sarah, as well as Zacharias and Elizabeth, Isaac and Rebekah, the Shunammite woman and her husband to dispel this myth called biological clock. Yes medical facts say a woman in menopause can’t have children but our God in His sovereignty decides on the timing of when He blesses people with children. I don’t deny the medical facts, all that I’m saying is that our God is greater. Luke 1:37 says

“For with God nothing will be impossible”.

In a nutshell I’m encouraging us not to have children out of wedlock merely because we think time is not on our side. Is there anything too hard for God? So let us trust God to give us the desires of our heart at His appointed time.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Being Single Does Not Mean Loneliness

As indicated in the preface, in the context of my writing, single refers to a person who never married, a divorced person and a person who has lost a spouse. In short a single person is a person without a spouse.

Let me start off by giving this assurance, single does not mean alone, the world may think of a single person as someone who is alone but for a person who is born again our mindset needs to be renewed on how we view singleness.

We have a companion, the promises of God ascertain this fact. Deuteronomy 31:6 says

Be strong, courageous, and firm; fear not nor be in terror of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you, He will not fail you or forsake you”,

Hebrews 13:5 says

let your character or moral disposition be free from the love of money[including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present[circumstances and with what you have]; for God Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support”,

God Himself is our companion, one of His names is Immanuel which means God with us. Not only is He with us but He is our friend. In John 15:14 Jesus says

You are my friends if you do whatever I command you”.

Proverbs 18:24 refers to a friend who sticks closer than a brother, Jesus is that kind of friend.

Now that we know single does not mean alone here are some steps towards renewing our minds.

Acceptance

The first step is acceptance. As a single person you have to start by accepting your status and be content with that fact. By acceptance, it does not mean you are accepting that you will be single forever however it is to accept the status quo.

Acceptance is a continuous process, you need to affirm yourself regularly. Say things such as ‘I am kept by God because I am the apple of God’s eye’.

There is no need to deny that you are single or to pretend as though you are not single, there’s no need to be embarrassed by the fact that you are single. I have heard about people who when they advance in age buy rings for themselves to put them on when they go to events to blend in or avoid questions. This is denial, and it is not healthy.

Don’t be troubled by people’s comments, when you have accepted yourself their comments will not harm you but if you have not accepted your single status people’s comments will easily hurt you.

I remember an analogy I once heard in a sermon, the preacher referred to the church as a construction site because Jesus is building His church. So on the construction site we need to put on the safety gear so that we don’t get injured. In Ephesians 6 God has given us His full armor. One of the pieces of the armor is the helmet of salvation. When you are on a construction site and something accidentally falls on your head, you will feel the impact however will not get injured because of the safety gear. Similarly, when people say comments, you will feel the impact of the words but as long as you have your helmet of salvation on, the words will not injure you.

I remember the time a person called me a spinster, I was thirty two and I had never considered myself to be one( even now I still don’t regard myself to be a spinster). It was a shock to me more especially because it was said by someone I was in the same fellowship with and we were at the person’s house. I felt the impact of the words but I managed to maintain my cool and continued with the conversation. On my way home after the visit I started analysing the words which were spoken to me. One of the first things I did was to pray and decided to forgive the person. I may not know whether they said those words intentionally to hurt me or whether it was a wrong choice of words they used regarding what we were discussing. One thing that I knew was that the onus was upon me as to how I responded to the whole situation. So I am trying to elaborate on the fact that I felt the impact of the words however I didn’t allow them to injure me nor did I hold a grudge against the person. I continued to serve in various ministries with the person. In John 15:12 Jesus gave us a commandment to love one another as He has loved us. In Hebrews 13:1 it says

Let brotherly love continue”.

Loneliness is a state of mind

Second step is to know that loneliness is a state of mind.

Proverbs 23:7 says

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he

The things you ponder are the things you become. When you think you are lonely, you become lonely. As individuals we have to learn to be content in our singleness. In Philippians 4:11 apostle Paul says

I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”.

Being content does not come automatically, it is something we have to learn and it is a continuous process. It is a continuous process because thoughts of loneliness will surely cross our mind however what is key is how one respond to those thoughts when they come. We have to use the tools given to us for spiritual warfare such as given to us in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5,

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”.

When thoughts of loneliness come, it is warfare in the mind, capture the thoughts and bring them to the obedience of Jesus Christ. You literally do so by arresting, resisting and rebuking the thoughts through prayer.

It is vital to point out that marriage is not a cure for loneliness. An unhappy and dissatisfied single person ends up being an unhappy and dissatisfied spouse.

Consider this, should it happen that you don’t get married, are you opting to live the rest of your life as an unhappy and dissatisfied person? Don’t opt for a life of misery when there’s a door open for contentment and fruitfulness as a single person.

Don’t be desperate

Third step, don’t be desperate. Desperation clouds our mind and hinders us from being able to hear the voice of God. God has promised to give us support, all we need to do is to be on a lookout for it. It comes in different forms to different people because we have different personalities.

To some support will come by meeting other single people, to others it will be support groups, to some it will be being involved in projects that keeps them preoccupied so that they have less time spending on their own, to some it will by having the knowledge of the Holy Spirit presence in their life.

Refuse to be ruled by emotions

Fourth step, refuse to be ruled by emotions, rule your emotions because if you don’t they will rule you.

The day before His crucifixion, Jesus was overwhelmed by His emotions but He dealt with those emotions through fervent prayer and by choosing the will of the Father instead of His own desire.

Luke 22:41-43,

He knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from me, nevertheless not my will but Yours be done’. Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him”.

In moments when you find yourself overwhelmed by emotions of not having a spouse, separate yourself and take time to pray. The prayer you make is to seek the will of the Father and not yours because it is evident in the Scriptures that not everyone is going to get married.

Build your character

Fifth step, attend seminars and events that are character building. They don’t necessarily need to be events for singles.

In addition to the steps mentioned, below are points excerpted from CBN article titled “Jeremiah All Alone In a Couples World” which was quoted from a book by David M. Hoffeditz titled They Were Single Too: 8 Biblical Role Models.

Means to address loneliness:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Recognising God’s Calling

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p<>{color:#000;}. Trust in God’s Control

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p<>{color:#000;}. Possession of God’s Perspective

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p<>{color:#000;}. A Value of Prayer

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p<>{color:#000;}. An Appreciation of Friends

So fellow single person, enjoy yourself where you are, don’t wait to celebrate the person you are only when you get married. Each day God gives us His brand new mercies so each day is an opportunity for new things. Be a content and satisfied single person, celebrate you.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Healthy Self Esteem

Self esteem is your overall opinion of yourself, it answers the question, ‘how do I feel about who I am’. Self esteem is not inherited but it is a learned behaviour. It is shaped by your thoughts, relationships and past experiences.

Whether a person has an unhealthy/low/negative self esteem or a healthy/high/positive self esteem is completely dependent on an individual.

Our self esteem improves when we omit all worries and learn from our experiences. A healthy self esteem makes us to feel good about ourselves.

Know Your Identity.

It is vital to know ones identity because it helps us to practice self care, boosts our confidence and self esteem. On days when I look into the mirror and feel low, dull and ugly I remind myself of who I am and whose I am, it is amazing how quickly my countenance changes as soon as I do that.

Psalm 139:14 says

I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well”.

God took His time to make me, I am not an afterthought, and therefore there is no way that God could have created an ugly thing. After all that He created during the six days of creation in Genesis 1, He declared that it was good. This means that when God had finished making me He looked at me and was satisfied, and declared that I am good (excellent, perfect, without defect, etc). The Word also declares that marvellous are His works, which is why when I remind myself of what the Word says, my negative thoughts and emotions surrenders to truth immediately.

On days when I read or hear a Word that pierces my soul, it takes the Word to also comfort me. What do I mean you may ask? Here is an example:

Proverbs 18:22 says

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favour from the Lord”.

As I am analytical in nature I am prone to ask questions such as, ‘so does it mean I am not a good thing and am of less value because no one has chosen me for marriage?’

As soon as I go into negative or questioning mode, the Holy Spirit is quick to drop a Word in my spirit to bring me out of that mode.

Which is why it is super important to read and study the Word, it gets stored in our memory so that in a time of need it gets retrieved.

In addition to the Psalm quoted above one of my other favourite verses that I use to remind myself of my identity is 1 Peter 2:9 which says

“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light”.

Not only did God create me but He also chose me and made me into royalty. In addition to that He calls me special because I am counted amongst His special people. Wow, how great and awesome this is.

When we know our identity we become fortified, this helps us in not allowing the fact that we are not married rob us of the joy of the Lord.

Learn From Prior Relationships

Prior relationships have a tendency to have an effect on ones confidence level. Most people blame themselves for failure of a relationship. So the more one has been in unsuccessful relationships the more the baggage they carry. This becomes an unhealthy cycle because when they start new relationships they go into them with a toxic energy subconsciously.

It is vital for one to take a break to heal from a failed relationship. Going from one relationship to the other does not give one time to assess what went wrong and fix what is needed before starting another one.

For example sometimes it happens that a person you were in a relationship with becomes married to the person he dated after you. The natural question that will come to your mind is why he didn’t marry you yet married the next person. You need to process those emotions before you go into another relationship so that you don’t go into it having anxieties and ghosts of the past.

The other example is if you previously made wrong choices for a partner. It is important to look at the pattern of what led to you becoming attracted to such a personality. For instance some who grow up without their father have a tendency of wanting older guys but only to find that they are not fulfilled in those relationships. Such a person needs to deal with her daddy issues because the relationships may fail because she has wrong expectations.

How to build a healthy self esteem?

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p<>{color:#000;}. Practice self care, image matters.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Identify triggers that affect your self esteem, gain control of yourself.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Watch your internal dialogue, develop skills of affirming yourself, positive self talk.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Don’t compare yourself to others nor be a complainer.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Exercise, a healthy body is a healthy mind.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spend time with supportive and positive people.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Renounce Comparison

Hebrews 12:1

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us”

Life is like a race, some are running a short distance, some are running middle distance, some are running long distance, some are running half marathon, some are running a marathon, and some are running ultra marathon.

And to be the best in your field you need a coach. In all these distances the preparation such as training and diet is different, and the tactics used for the race is different.

A sprinter needs speed whereas a marathon runner needs endurance. The type of race that one chooses is not of less or more value than the other races. The main aim is to reach the finish line. The shorter the distance the faster the goal is achieved, the longer the distance the longer it takes to achieve the goal. A person running a short distance cannot compare themselves with a person running a marathon, boasting that they reached their goal faster than the one running a marathon. A person running a marathon cannot compare themselves with the one who ran a short distance being upset that it took them longer to achieve their goal. Therefore stick to your own race, renounce comparison because it will not benefit you but has a potential to hurt you. When you run looking to the side or looking behind, you put yourself at the risk of tripping and falling which will affect your ability to reach the finish line.

Just like the types of running described, the same applies to life pertaining to marriage. Some will get married as soon as they are legally adults, some will get married after graduating with their first degree/diploma, some will get married when they get employed, some will get married when they have established a career, some will get married after they have acquired property, some will get married when they meet their perfect partner no matter how long it takes. As individuals we should not compare ourselves with our friends, siblings and relatives. It is only the grace of God that determines when one gets married because He is in authority of times and seasons. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says

I returned and saw under the sun that, the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favour to men of skill, but time and chance happen to them all”.

Another thing we should guard against is comparing ourselves with fellow church members. For instance take a scenario of a person who is serving in the work of God and has been doing so for many years then comes another who is a new convert and not long after they got born again they meet a partner in the church and get married.

I remember one preacher giving a testimony about how he went on an outreach to evangelise amongst the prostitutes and drug dealers, two people who were born again at that outreach later got married to each other.

He was a single pastor who had been trusting God for a spouse. He confessed that when the former prostitute and former drug dealer got married, it made him feel like what about him because he had been dedicated to doing the work of God. It is vital to renounce comparison because doing that will poison you and may make you stop doing the work of God. Marriage is not a reward. Don’t serve in the church because you want a potential partner to see you, serve because you love God.

Philippians 2:3 says

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself”.

Esteeming others better than ourselves closes a door on competition and comparison.

We are all running in different categories, therefore each should put in place the necessary preparation for their race.

Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt.

Characteristics of successful athletes

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Positive attitude and self-motivation.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Willingness to learn, from their previous performances, coaches and those in same category.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Commitment, they don’t get ruled by fatigue but are driven by their dream of winning.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Consistency, their thoughts and actions are aligned as they pursue their goal of winning.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Focus and discipline, they don’t allow any destruction.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Recognise that conflict is an opportunity for growth, they don’t escape from obstacles but they seek a way to push ahead, facing hardship is part of being successful.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Accountability, they have a support system in place that helps them achieve their goal.

Out of these characteristics of successful athletes we as single people can learn the following:

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p<>{color:#000;}. We should have a positive attitude, we should not value ourselves less than a married person.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be willing to learn from our past mistakes, from the mistakes of others, and from the Holy Spirit because He is our life coach.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be committed to the biblical principles, we should not doubt the Word of God.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be consistent, our lifestyle should reflect the Christ in us.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be disciplined, we should not allow worldly destructions into our life.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Recognise that the challenges we encounter are part of our personal and spiritual growth.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Have accountability partners, it can be a friend or a support group like singles ministry at church.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Waiting On God For A spouse

As previously mentioned,

It is better to wait long rather than marry wrong – anonymous”.

This surely is food for thought, waiting upon God no matter how long it takes. If this principle could be applied there would be a reduction in the number of divorces in the body of Christ.

Don’t Be Obsessed About Marriage

Matthew 6:33 says

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added”.

As believers our core goal should be to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. We need to prioritise our relationship with God, and all other things that are intended for us in accordance to God’s plan shall come as we devote ourselves to Him.

I have heard of people who go from church to church in search of a potential partner. Now it is clear that those people are not seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness but rather are pursuing selfish ambitions. Does your desire to get married fill your mind and thoughts more than meditating on the Word of God? Whatever is so desired and loved, as to displace God from His pre-eminence becomes an idol. Obsessing over marriage is a form of idolatry. 1 John 5:21 says

“Keep yourselves from idols”.

1 Corinthians 10:14 says

“My beloved flee from idolatry”.

There is no need to be church hopping in search of a partner, our God knows where we are located. According to biblical principles a man is the one who goes looking for a wife, a woman doesn’t go to look for a husband. Proverbs 18:22 says

He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favour from the Lord”

To be able to find, one has to seek. It is clear that the one who does the seeking is the one looking for a wife. Proverbs 19:14 says

A prudent wife is from the Lord”,

So a person in search for a wife should not rely on his family, friends or church leadership to point him to a potential wife. He should do the seeking being dependent on God for direction because a prudent wife is from the Lord.

How To Choose A Spouse?

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Know your purpose. Knowing your purpose and having a clear vision makes identifying a suitable spouse easy. A person may have the characteristics you like however if their vision is contradicting yours then the relationship is doomed to fail. An easy example is if the person wants to have children after marriage whereas you don’t, that would be a deal breaker because you have two different aspirations for your future.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Seek a God-man not a good man. God man relies on God’s strength and gets wisdom from His Word because his desire is to please God, whereas a good man relies on his abilities and pleasing people. There are good men in other religions but that doesn’t qualify them as suitable candidates.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be prayerful, wait upon the Lord, and do not rush things.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Don’t compromise, do not get married to a person who is not born again. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says

“You are not the same to those who do not believe. So do not join yourselves to them. Good and bad do not belong together. Light and darkness cannot share together”

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do a spiritual due diligence to determine that the person you want to be married to is truly born again. Check the person’s background (amongst pastors, fellow believers, family). Just because a person attends church and serves in the church does not automatically mean they are born again. Matthew 7:20 says

Therefore by their fruits you will know them”.

The behaviour and vocabulary determines what is truly in their hearts.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. God will not send you a person who is already married, this includes those who are separated from their spouse. Malachi 2:16 says

For the Lord God of Israel says that He hates divorce”.

Genesis 2:24 says

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one”,

And Jesus elaborated on this issue in Matthew 19:6

So then they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together let not man separate”.

God is not confused, He cannot go against His Word. God will not send someone into your life when it would require that person to go against what is written in Scriptures in order for you to be married.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If a person you want to be married to is a divorcee, as part of doing the spiritual due diligence it is vital to find out the circumstances that led to the divorce. Even though God hates divorce as outlined in the Malachi 2:16, He does not condone a person to be trapped in a marriage where they are under danger. The one that is clearly addressed is the issue of sexual immorality in Matthew 19:9. A person who is not faithful to their spouse puts them at risk of contracting diseases which may lead to their health being in danger.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The person you get married to should be of the opposite sex, in accordance to their gender when they were born. As indicated above God is not confused, He will not lead you to do something that is against His Word. The marriage that the Scripture approves of is the one between male and female (Genesis 2:24).

Are Christians Allowed To Date?

Dating is defined differently by each generation and culture. The Bible is silent on the issue of dating. As the body of Christ we are very diverse, the issue of dating is dealt with within the confines of culture. Furthermore each family deals with this issue differently.

What is commonly advised in a Christian environment is courtship. Courtship is a relationship between a man and woman in which they seek to determine if it is God’s will for them to marry each other. It is the duration that precedes engagement and marriage. The Bible is silent on the issue of courtship. Just like in dating the practice is different in every culture.

Courtship does not automatically lead to marriage. As individuals get to know each other better they may come to a point where they realise that they are not suitable marriage partners. This they may discover on their own or during premarital counselling. It is at that time when it will be appropriate to break off the courtship.

It is best to break off the courtship rather than go into a marriage when already there are red flags.

Courtship does not have a specified length of duration. There are different dynamics in every courtship. However what is recommended is that it should be long enough to enable the couple to know each other well to a point where each is comfortable to share the rest of their lives together. No one can know another completely since as individuals we are growing and maturing progressively. Therefore it is vital not to prolong courtship unnecessarily.

The basic principles of courtship are as follows:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ask God’s blessing at the beginning of the relationship.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Enter it with direction toward discerning marriage, listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Involve families.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Be accountable to others.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. No physical intimacy.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Exclusivity.

Be Prepared

In Genesis 24 we find a beautiful story of how Isaac and Rebekah got married. Abraham sent his messenger to go find a wife for his son. We can use Abraham as an allegory to represent God. God the Father is the one who gives an instruction pertaining to issues of marriage. At the appointed time He sets things in motion for His children to be married.

Both Isaac and Rebekah were carrying on with their lives whilst in the background their marriage was being arranged. This is a great lesson, to show us that we don’t need to go outside of our routine to try to catch attention of a suitable spouse.

Rebekah was doing her daily chores when the servant of Abraham met her and identified that she was a suitable wife for his master’s son.

Rebekah had all the attributes of being a suitable wife.

Homemaker: She was equipped in running a household, she had gone to the well to fetch water for her family.

Caring: She was nurturing and caring, she was willing to go an extra mile to meet the needs of a stranger and this displays her caring nature.

Considerate: She did not undermine people, though she could identify that Abraham’s servant was a foreigner she still supplied his needs.

Patient and enduring: She most definitely had endurance, to give water to ten camels surely took strength, patience and endurance. Considering that it is estimated that camels drink an average of 135 litres to quench their thirst.

Generous: she did not ask for reward for her labour.

Brave: she was willing to move from her home to an unknown place.

Her authenticity brought great favour upon both her and her family members. Little did she know that the goods carried by the camels she gave water to were for her benefit.

These are some of the attributes that one needs in order to have the foundation of a successful marriage.

Isaac had attributes of a suitable husband.

Prayerful: He was coming from a time to meditate on the day Rebekah arrived. This shows that he had time allocated for devotion.

Loving: Genesis 24:67 “he took Rebekah, she became his wife and he loved her”.

Provider: he was an heir of Abraham and had resources to provide for household needs.

It is necessary for the man to be prayerful because it is his duty to be the priest of his home. He needs to hear from God so that he can direct his family in accordance to God’s plan. As the head of the family, he needs to take care not only of the material needs but also of their spiritual growth.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Abstinence

Is abstinence possible? Yes it is possible. All you need to do is be equipped with what the word of God says, secondly is to use the tools which you are equipped with. It is one thing to have knowledge and it is another to apply the knowledge you have. Therefore apply wisdom.

Why is abstinence such a challenge within the church? It is mainly because people hear the Word being preached, or read the Word for themselves yet refuse the Word to transform their lives. A question is asked in James 2:14,

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?”

This is a crucial question which each believer should ask themselves because we discover as we continue reading in the same chapter that faith without works is dead. Therefore make a decision not to be counted amongst those whose faith is dead.

Do you want to have faith that is not dead and to inherit the kingdom of God? Our Father, the Everlasting God, is so loving, fair and transparent. He has made known unto us the things He approves of and those which He disapproves of. Fornication and sexual immorality are in the category of those which He disapproves of therefore as single people we are required to abstain from sexual activity completely irrespective of what our age is.

In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21 and Ephesians 5:5 God has clearly made known to us the things that will keep us from this inheritance.

Galatians 5:19-21 says

now the works of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like, of which I tell you before hand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”.

Ephesians 5:5 says

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God”.

What is fornication? It is consensual sexual intercourse between people not married to each other.

What is sexual immorality? It involves any type of sexual expression outside of the boundaries of a biblically defined marriage relationship. In addition to fornication it includes such things as masturbation and pornography.

In 1 Corinthians 6:18 it says

Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body”.

God would not require us to do something that He knew we were incapable of doing.

Temptations

1 Corinthians 10:13 says

no temptation has overtaken you except such is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it”.

Whenever we find ourselves in situations where we are tempted, let us always remember that God has made a way of escape. Our responsibility is to look for that way of escape and to use it.

The most vital part is for us not to override the Holy Spirit, some call Him the inner voice. If you look back on the things that you regretted doing, you will recall that there’s a voice that warned you not to do it but you chose to ignore that voice. The Holy Spirit has what’s best for us so let us learn to be obedient to Him.

Know the triggers of temptation, some of the ways of escape are:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Refrain from listening to music that plays on your emotions by reminding you of someone you used to be involved with sexually before you were born again.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Do not watch movies that are clearly stated contain sex and nudity. There’s a phrase that says “our eyes are the door to your soul”. Matthew 6:22-23 says

The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness”.

Not only does the Bible say so but it has also been proven scientifically.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Limit your interaction with people who do not share the same values such as people who ridicules abstinence. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says

Do not be deceived: evil company corrupts good habits”.

Temple of the Holy Spirit

As single people we should respect our bodies. Being single does not mean liberty to sleep with whomever and whenever as propaganda spread by worldly system.

As Christians were are to be distinct. Firstly we are to be aware that we are no longer our own, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says:

do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s”.

Secondly we are to give ourselves as an act of worship unto God. Romans 12:1-2 says:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”.

Abstinence is a form of worshiping God, we keep our bodies pure so that the Holy Spirit may come and indwell us. The Holy Spirit will not reside in a body where the Word of God is not obeyed.

Self-Control

Self control is one of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23). When we are led by the Holy Spirit we are to bear fruit that reflects who our master is.

Self control is one of the characteristics that make a clear distinction between those who are Spirit led and those who are carnally minded.

We need to exercise self control in order to be victorious over temptation and the worldly system.

Romans 8:5-14 says

Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God”.

It Is Never Too Late To Change

Let us learn from how Jesus handled the case of the woman who was brought before Him to be stoned because she was caught in adultery. Jesus did not condemn her, however He gave her an instruction. His instruction was “go and sin no more”.

The same applies to us. When we get born again, Jesus forgives us of our sins, He does not condemn us. However He has given us instructions on how to live, now that we are born again we cannot continue in the old habits.

We know that sexual intercourse outside of marriage is sin, therefore let us go and sin no more. Let us not only be hearers of the Word but be doers of the Word as well. It is never too late to change, therefore let us purpose in our hearts to live in accordance to Jesus’ instruction.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Role of a Single Person in the Church

God in His Sovereignty has designed His body which is the church to be diverse. Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12 teaches us that we are many parts in one body but all parts do not have the same function.

In light of this no believer should regard themselves as being inadequate or of less value.

Every person whom God has poured out His Spirit into has a role in the church.

This leads us to know that single people also have a function in the body of Christ. Furthermore God has specified it in His Word. In

1 Corinthians 7:32 it says

He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord”

1 Corinthians 7:34 says

An unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit”.

The Word encourages us to care for the things of the Lord. As such every single person should find a place to serve wherever they fellowship, also during conferences and church events the single people are to avail themselves to assist the church leadership in whatever task they get assigned. Single people are to volunteer their time, resources and skills to ensure that the work of God is done with excellence.

We have examples of single people who were aware of their role in the church and played their part immensely.

Timothy

The name Timothy means “revere God” or “honouring God”. There is nowhere in the scripture where it makes mention of Timothy having a wife, as such I am of the opinion that he was single throughout his ministry.

Timothy had a heart for ministry from a young age and was a very active member of the body of Christ. Though he was a young man, he had an exceptional reputation amongst the believers. Acts 16:2 says

He was well spoken of by the brethren in Lystra and Iconium”.

By the time Paul came to his area he had already heard about his reputation. When Paul discovered that the report he had heard about Timothy was true, he made him to become his protégé.

Paul and Timothy became co-workers in doing missions work as well as in writing. Paul entrusted him with assignments of great importance. Paul sent him to places where he was unable to go himself. In Philippians 2:19 Paul says

I trust in the Lord to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your condition. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ. But you know his proven character, that a son with his father he served with me in the gospel”

This illustrates how much Paul trusted Timothy, and how close their relationship was to a point where he regarded him as his own son.

Timothy was a person willing to step out of his comfort zone, he is described as having been shy in nature however he did not allow his personality to keep him from doing the work of God. He did not permit anything to hinder him from serving God, even in times when he was faced with opposition he remained steadfast and faithful to his calling.

Just like his mentor Paul, Timothy also is one of the people who had an effective role in the early church. He served the Lord faithfully from his youth to the time he died at around the age of eighty.

Dorcas

The scripture does not make any mention of her having a husband, it is my opinion that she was single.

Acts 9:36 “at Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did”

Dorcas is one of the believers who demonstrated her faith through her lifestyle, she was full of good works. She was alert of the needs in her community, she was not only serving within the church but she extended her service to her community. She was an admired member of her community because she looked for opportunities to serve them.

As single people our role is to look for opportunities to use our gifts both in the church and in our communities.

It is good to give an offering to an orphanage, elderly home and such places however let us also be like Dorcas and be hands on. In Acts 9:39 says

And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them”

Her life was not only effective whilst she was alive. Her death brought a miracle in her community. When Peter raised her from the dead, this miracle was made known throughout Joppa and many believed on the Lord.

Let us also strive to leave a legacy that witness of the God we serve and make many people to believe in the Lord.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Singleness and Leadership

In John 4, one of the key principle being displayed by Jesus when He interacts with the Samaritan woman at the well is that of non discrimination.

In that time the Jews regarded the Samaritans to be inferior, furthermore a rabbi avoided contact with women in public. It is clear that Jesus doesn’t condone any form of discrimination which is why He began a conversation with the woman at the well.

It is very sad to say that there is a form of discrimination in some of the places of worship these days, it manifest itself by sidelining single people to be leaders in the church.

It is vital to remember that Jesus was not married. So if we say single people cannot be leaders in the church we have closed the door on Jesus as well. So if the church is not accommodating Jesus can we still call it a church since it doesn’t acknowledge Him who is the Head, the Rock, the Chief Cornerstone as well as the builder?

Secondly if one wants to use what is written in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 pertaining to qualifications of elders, also remember that the person who wrote it was not married.

Singles In Ministry

There are a lot of single people in the Scriptures. I will mention just a few here and some are mentioned throughout the chapters.

Paul

Apostle Paul is one of the key figures in the Bible and in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. His life illustrates that no one is beyond the saving grace of God.

In his early life he was violent and persecuted those who believed in Jesus Christ. But in his later years Paul was dedicated in serving the kingdom of God. He did so in various ways, it is evident that he was a multi-talented individual.

Firstly he was an author, out of the twenty seven books in the New Testament, Paul is believed to have written most of them, thirteen to fourteen of them.

Secondly he was a missionary, to such places as Asia Minor, Greece and Italy.

Thirdly he was a church planter, he started a minimum of fourteen churches.

Fourthly he was a mentor of leaders, Timothy and Titus are some of those whom Paul groomed for leadership and pastoral care.

Paul was not married, he clearly states his marital status in 1 Corinthians 7:7 where it says

I wish everyone were single, just as I am”.

His singleness did not hinder his service in the kingdom of God.

The bible doesn’t specify how or when Paul died but scholars estimate that he was in his sixties when he died.

Jeremiah

Prophet Jeremiah is one of the major prophets in the Old Testament, he started serving God in his youth. His prophetic ministry is estimated to have spanned more than forty years and he was not married. In Jeremiah 16:2 it says

The Word of the Lord also came to me saying you shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place”.

In the Old Testament God used various ways to communicate to His people. One of the ways was to use the lifestyle of His prophets, as a way of sending a clear message. In the time of prophet Jeremiah God was not pleased with the people and as such He gave a command to prophet Jeremiah not to get intertwined with them.

To be married one doesn’t only get cleaved to the spouse but one also gets into a relationship with that person’s family members. So God did not want His prophet to interact with such people. Jeremiah 16:10-12 says

And it shall be when you show this people all these words, and they say to you, ‘why has the Lord pronounced all this great disaster against us? Or what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’ then you shall say to them ‘because your fathers have forsaken Me’ says the Lord ‘they have walked after other gods and have served them and worshipped them, and have forsaken Me and have not kept My law. And you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, each one follows the dictates of his own evil heart, so that no one can listen to Me”.

God is concerned about our well-being, He knows what is best for us.

God knew that for prophet Jeremiah to be married in that type of environment it was not going to do him good, he would have been doomed and his purpose would not have been fulfilled.

Networking with people of evil hearts and who cannot listen to God is detrimental. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says

“Do not be deceived: ‘evil company corrupts good habits”.

In the New Testament God uses every believer’s lifestyle, it’s no longer limited to His prophets, for we are ambassadors of the kingdom of God. In 2 Corinthians 5:20 it says

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us”.

We need to trust God and rest in Him, allow Him through His Spirit to guide us. There are people who come into our lives with wrong motives. Since God is the only one who sees the hearts of people, we need to totally depend on Him when it comes to issues of marriage. Just like prophet Jeremiah, it is best to remain single than to find yourself in a situation that will abort God’s purpose for your life.

Phoebe

Romans 16:1-2, Apostle Paul writes

I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you, for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also”.

Phoebe is an example of women leadership in the early church, she was a deacon in the church of Cenchrea, a port city in Corinth. She was entrusted by Apostle Paul to carry the letter he had written to the church in Rome. She was a caring individual, apostle Paul refers to her as a helper of many. The word helper in this context means a person who supplied support and funding for worthy causes.

Daughters of Phillip

There is a servant of God who was an evangelist, he stayed in Caesarea and His name was Philip. This man had four daughters who had the gift of prophecy and none of them was married. In Acts 21:9 says

“Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied”.

I am of the opinion that the Bible mention that they were not married because they were of marriageable age.

Acknowledgements

I would like to give honor to God for the gift He has put in me, allowing me to be His instrument to bring encouragement to fellow believers so that we can run this race of faith with excellence as we pursue to reach the goal.

I would also like to thank my mother Philisia Maimane for being my great support and giving me space to pursue my vision.

I would also like to appreciate my spiritual coach, an apostle of Jesus Christ, that God has placed in my life, and all the fivefold ministers globally that have contributed towards my spiritual growth.

Other Books By The Author:

Total Surrender

Diligent Ambassadors

Diversity in Christ

Fixing My Heart

Deception of the Eye

Confessions of the Black Sheep

References

Various Bible translations have been used

Constance Malatji – El Nissi Global Ministries

www.biblestudytools.com

www.copyjesus.com

www.chrisianitytoday.com

www.gotquestions.org

www.gty.org

www.allaboutgod.com

www.psychcentral.com

www.mayoclinic.org

 


Singles Corner

The book is firstly aimed at single people. A single person in the context of the book is anyone who does not have a spouse. There are various challenges that single people face and may not know how to deal with them. This book is a tool to encourage and edify such individuals in accordance to biblical principles . After reading this book one would be spiritually empowered by knowing that they are valued and should not feel marginalised because God loves us equally, whether single or married. Secondly the book is aimed at people who are in ministry leadership. This book will help them gain insight about challenges of single people. Ministry leaders will come to a realisation that singleness is as complex as marriage and as such needs resources to be allocated in order to minister to such needs.

  • Author: Tebogo
  • Published: 2017-03-06 21:35:16
  • Words: 12548
Singles Corner Singles Corner